Fresh produce market update

Here's the latest Brisbane Produce Market fresh produce report: 8 February 2011

Fruit and vegetable quality is a day-by-day proposition in the week ahead but despite North Queensland’s devastating cyclone damage and last week’s heat waves in the southern states, there is still plenty of fresh food on greengrocers’ shelves.

Bananas have been the worst affected with prices rising sharply. Mangoes and papaws will be scarce.

However, there are plenty of other fruit options that may be a little ugly but remain tasty, including good quality lychees, peaches, nectarines and Australian and New Zealand apricots.

New season Williams pears and gala apples are also good eating but be prepared to pay a bit more. There are ample supplies of figs.

Seedless watermelons are the pick of the crop and along with tasty rockmelons, may cost a bit more but are still value for money.

There are good supplies of Valencia oranges and the tastier US navel variety.

Vegetable quality will be an issue for the next few weeks but there are still supplies of onions, potatoes and pumpkins on the shelves, sourced from the southern states.

Gourmet tomato quality is weather affected and may feel softer this week with the best tomato varieties being truss or hydroponics that are grown in controlled nutrient and atmospheric conditions.

Mushrooms are plentiful, good quality and perfect for summer stir fries.

Corn will be inconsistent in size, beans may look peppered and capsicums have tightened in price, but they still eat well although they may not store well for long.

Broccoli and cauliflower may look uglier in the days ahead, and using the same advice for lettuce and mixed salad, it’s available but won’t store well.

Avocadoes are still available but will tighten up in the weeks ahead after the loss of the Atherton Tablelands crops. Look for the shepard variety which don’t brown as much as other varieties if they carry a blemish.